WAKE TSI Resolves System Overload and Saves Client $240K in the Process

Reading Health System (RHS) is the largest and primary healthcare system serving the Reading/Berks County area of Pennsylvania. Founded in 1867, RHS operates 46 locations including its flagship 679 bed Reading Hospital and Medical Center located in West Reading, PA. RHS has over 1700 medical professionals on staff, over 17,000 surgical procedures, 30,000 annual admissions, and 130,000 emergency room visits per year.

The Situation

RHS was using Siemens Invision for their EHR platform. This Internal Computing Option (ICO) implementation was housed on an IBM Z10 located in the primary data center on campus. Users accessed it through five sets of Siemens NetAccess and OASGold web based delivery servers at $25,000 to $30,000 per pair. For a number of years, RHS experienced a severe slowdown in system response at 10am and 2pm every day. This was being caused by heavy system usage by the clinical staff entering documentation at those times. Neither RHS nor Siemens could determine the cause of the performance problems. RHS made a significant investment in upgrading the MIPS capacity on the Z10 but this did not have the desired effect. They were preparing to make another large upgrade investment to resolve the slowdown. Due to significant user dissatisfaction, RHS engaged WAKE TSI to act as the Problem Manager for this issue.


The fix turned out to be straightforward. RHS utilized a heavily cached SAN infrastructure. A small block of SAN storage was provisioned for each Siemens NetAccess server and the web server storage was re-pointed to the SAN. This immediately showed results and all performance degradation vanished. In fact, the system became far more responsive throughout the entire day and no more degradation was seen, even during heavy use times. Due to this performance improvement, RHS was able to reduce the number of NetAccess/OASGold server pairs by half. That hardware was redeployed saving over $60,000 plus avoiding $180,000 on additional servers.

The Result

WAKE TSI initially assembled a team made up of RHS technical and application specialists. Every piece of available data was gathered and cataloged. Regular meetings were established with detailed documentation collected. WAKE TSI also engaged Siemens to assist with additional information.

Once WAKE TSI was familiarized with the environment, we developed an action plan to segment, test, and monitor each layer of the Invision deployment. All future problem reporting went directly to the team for review and documentation.

WAKE TSI discovered the actual problem a number of weeks later after continuing to review the documentation being collected and doing event correlation. A spike in drive utilization was being seen on the local hard drives of the NetAccess servers that coincidently happened at 10am and 2pm each day.

Key Achievements

  • Resolved the Performance Issue
  • Contained IT Costs
  • Saved RHS over $240,000
  • Provided Peace of Mind and became a trusted IT advisor